"High Achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation." - Charles Kettering

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The New Face of Education?

There has been a lot in the news about a new paradigm for education. The fundamental idea is sharing resources. The best providers in a given area, say AP Biology, offers AP Bio to all schools in that area. This is a novel concept to which current educational structure is not amenable due to contractual restrictions. Apparently any time a kid in district A takes a class offered in District B that is not currently available in District A, there must be a teacher in District A assigned to "oversee" the District B class progress, despite the fact that the teacher in District B is fully licenced and qualified to teach the class. This ups the resources required in District A to take advantage of the class. Until now, the unions have effectively squelched this idea, thereby reducing the quality of our childrens' educations, especially in rural areas where the variety and frequency of offerings is sorely limited. And this is only one example in which the sharing of resources is discouraged. Having a kid in AP level courses, I know how challenging it is to take advantage of these classes, which are on a two year rotating basis at best in our district. Imagine if you will, trying to map out your kid's entire high school curriculum in 8th grade. That is what is necessary to make sure they get the classes they need at this point in our district. Now imagine a world where AP everything is offered every year. Maybe not in the hallowed halls of EHS, but available to the EHS students EVERY YEAR. The possibilities become practically unlimited. And think of the money you parents would save on the blinking tuition fees if your kid entered his or her first year of college as a second semester freshman. That's what I'm talkin' about. Putting the needs and educational excellence of our children first. Share resources. Share teachers. Share excellence. Our kids deserve it. Find a way to make it so. (apologies to Capt. Picard).


Anonymous said...

This is how virtual schools trump smaller schools like Evansville. I understand your idea with this, but not every kid who walks the halls of EHS is four year college bound. It's not for lack of classes it by choice. Some thing like this should be forced on any district, as you as a parent do have alternatives to meet these needs.

Katy said...

Since over two thirds of EHS students took the ACT last year, I have to say that a significant majority of the students of Evansville have plans for higher education. My choice as a parent with accelerated students has been to pay extra for my children to get the programming they deserve and need to meet their goals, which is not an option as far as I am concerned. Others may not have the persistence and wherewithal to provide this for their children and that is not acceptable. Sharing resources is not the major advantage virtual schools have over brick and mortar schools. The big advantage is not having to build 20 million dollar schools every 20 years and having to hire people to maintain said facilities. If schools can find a way to share resources effectively, this would be a huge bonus for every kid in Evansville and every other small high school in the nation.